NFPA 326: Standard for Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning, or Repair

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Protect workers! Changes in the 2015 NFPA 326 safety precautions for tank container cleaning and repair reflect information from the CSB and OSHA.

Globally used by oil and chemical companies and refineries and other industries, NFPA 326: Standard for Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning, or Repair outlines the basic procedures to safeguard a tank or container that contains or has contained a flammable, combustible, or otherwise hazardous substance before entry, cleaning, repair, or other activities can be performed. This Standard incorporates relevant parts of NFPA 327: Standard Procedures for Cleaning or Safeguarding Small Tanks and Containers Without Entry. Chapters cover:

  • Basic precautions including ignition concerns
  • Preparation for safeguarding, such as lockout/tagout; and removal of flammable, combustible, or other hazardous substances
  • Testing procedures
  • Control or removal of vapors
  • Inspection and certification of tanks and containers
  • Procedures for access to and entry of tanks
  • Cleaning tanks and containers

Changes respond to issues raised by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

In response to CSB Bulletin No. 2009-01-SB entitled Seven Key Lessons to Prevent Worker Deaths During Hot Work In and Around Tanks - Effective Hazard Assessment and Use of Combustible Gas Monitoring Will Save Lives, the Standard's Chapter 6 emphasizes the need and importance of periodic or continuous testing by a qualified person for atmosphere hazards including but not limited to flammable and toxic vapors from more than one sampling point.

Other changes correlate NFPA 326 with OSHA and other NFPA® codes.

  • "Material Safety Data Sheets" is renamed "Safety Data Sheets" in accordance with OSHA Hazard Communication alignment with the United Nation’s Global Harmonization System (GHS).
  • The 2015 edition also includes updated referenced publications.

Staying up-to-date is vital for commercial and industrial worker safety in tanks or containers that contain dangerous substances. (Softbound, 19 pp., 2015)

NFPA® 326 Standard for the Safeguarding of Tanks and Containers for Entry, Cleaning, or Repair 2015 Edition

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Application
1.4 Retroactivity
1.5 Equivalency
1.6 Units
1.7 Enforcement Requirements. (Reserved)
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publication
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 4 Basic Precautions
4.1 General
4.2 Ignition Concerns
Chapter 5 Preparation for Safeguarding
5.1 Lockout/Tagout
5.2 Removal of Flammable, Combustible, or Other Hazardous Substances, Liquids, or Gases
5.3 Isolation
Chapter 6 Testing Procedures
6.1 General Procedures
6.2 Testing for Oxygen Content
6.3 Testing for Flammable Vapors
6.4 Testing for Toxic Vapors and Gases
Chapter 7 Control or Removal of Vapors
7.1 General
7.2 Removal of Flammable Vapors by Displacement with Air (Ventilation)
7.3 Removal of Flammable Vapors by Displacement with Inert Gas
7.4 Removal of Flammable Vapors by Displacement with Water, Fuel Oil, or Chemicals
7.5 Removal of Flammable Vapors by Displacement with Steam
Chapter 8 Inspection and Certification of Tanks and Containers
8.1 General
8.2 Designations
Chapter 9 Procedures for Access to and Entry of Tanks
9.1 General
9.2 Access to Tanks
9.3 Tank Entry
9.4 Closing the Tank Access Opening
Chapter 10 Cleaning Tanks and Containers
10.1 General
10.2 Purpose and Extent of Cleaning
10.3 Removal of Residual Liquids and Solids
10.4 Cleaning Inspection
10.5 Cleaning Methods
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Informational References